Friday, January 19, 2018

Forever My Girl

My View:  Forever My Girl  (2018)  PG  A big country music star (Alex Roe) returns home after being gone for ten years and rediscovers his true love, a woman named, Josie (Jessica Rothe). This is your ordinary romance film about a jilted-at the-altar girl who stayed in her hometown when the man who left her returns. It’s precisely what you think it would be, a little schmaltzy and too sweet, at times. What makes this film watchable is the excellent group of songs that Alex Roe and others (including one by Travis Tritt) that are preformed in the film and the performance of Abby Ryder Fortson, who steals the spotlight from the rest of the cast. She is adorable as Josie’s headstrong and precocious daughter, Billy. You instantly fall in love with Billy as Ryder Fortson delivers lines like a seasoned pro. This isn’t a bad date movie if you like romantic films and country music.    My Rating:  Cable   Forever My Girl Website 
Indiefest:  Small Town Crime  (2017)  R  An alcoholic ex-cop (John Hawkes) finds the body of a dead young woman and decides to find her killer. This is an old-fashioned hard-drinking murder mystery from writer/directors Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms. Small Town Crime is the kind of story where the hero isn’t above breaking a few laws to solve the case. Part dark comedy, part private eye film, it’s a look into the sleazy life of the world of dive bars, boozy patrons and prostitution with a little bit of backstabbing thrown in for fun.  This film is a trip you will want to take because of John Hawkes. Hawkes is one of those rare actors that, as soon as he appears on the screen, we are already rooting for his character, no matter how many flaws his character has.   This is a film that someone like old pulp fiction writer Mickey Spillane or even any character that the Coen brothers have created would be happy to be in. It’s a world of booze, dead bodies, and bad intentions; thank God we have John Hawkes to lead us through it!    My Rating: Full Price   Small Town Crime Website
IndiefestThe Final Year  (2017)  Documentary on President Obama’s last year in office where Filmmaker Greg Barker was given unprecedented access to the last year of President Obama’s foreign policy team.  The film focuses on Obama and his team made up of Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, American Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, and Deputy National Security Adviser/speechwriter Ben Rhodes.  The film follows the President, Kerry, and Powers as they travel around the world visiting 21 countries. At times the film feels like a puff piece for the Obama administration, but you do catch moments where there are personal glimpses with just the right bit of humanity, like a young woman asking the President how to balance a successful marriage. Best moment of the film, which was also one of the saddest, was when speechwriter Ben Rhodes, on election night, is sitting outside on some steps trying just to say, "I have no words" into the camera and tries at least ten times to say it.  A guy who writes speeches for a living was speechless.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Final Year Website
In Case You Missed It (Movies just released on DVD/BluRay):  Loving Vincent  (2017)  PG-13  The complicated life and controversial death of one of history’s most celebrated artists, Vincent Van Gogh. This film took six years and used more than 125 artists to animate this movie using oil paints and more than 65,000 panels. The movie takes 120 of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings and incorporates them into the scenery and the characters. It makes his paintings come to life right before your eyes. The film is told through the travels of a Postmasters son, Armand (Douglas Booth) who is given the task of taking a letter Van Gogh wrote on the day of his death to Vincent’s brother. As Armand travels, he begins seeking information on why Vincent committed suicide making the film more of a mystery than just your typical biographical picture. The animation is gorgeous, and fans of Van Gogh will love how his paintings fill the screen. To fully appreciate the wonder of this film, it has to be seen on the big screen as this movie creates a love letter to Van Gogh’s magnificent, stunning paintings. Van Gogh produced works that continued to bring joy to a world, even if that world didn’t understand him at that time. As Vincent used to sign his letters to his beloved Theo with the saying, Loving Vincent, you, too, will be loving Vincent if you see this film.   My Rating:  Full Price   Loving Vincent Website
Forgotten Film:  Soapdish  (1991) PG-13  An up-and-coming actress (Cathy Moriarty) on a daytime drama plots with her producer (Robert Downey Jr.) to get the longtime star (Sally Field) of the soap off the show. Like the soap TV show itself, Soapdish has tons of plot twists, backstabs and outlandish affairs that make this film so much fun to watch. The outstanding cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Kline, Elisabeth Shue, Carrie Fisher and Garry Marshall who is hilarious as the put-upon network boss. Everyone looks to be having a great time on screen as you will be, too, watching Soapdish.   My Rating: Full Price   Soapdish Info

Weird Credit:  From the credits of Small Town Crime: Crafty / Production Assistant

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The 15:17 to Paris  (2018)  PG-13  Based on a true story where American soldiers discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train. Clint Eastwood has been uneven in his films lately, but I have hope for this one.   The 15;17 to Paris Website
Until Next Time!

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